OREMUS: 3 February 2012

Steve Benner steve.benner at oremus.org
Thu Feb 2 17:00:00 GMT 2012

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OREMUS for February 3
Anskar, Archbishop of Hamburg,
Missionary in Denmark and Sweden, 865

A native of Picardy, Anskar was a monk of Corbie near Amiens who, after the conversion of the King of Denmark to Christianity, went to Schleswig and attempted to start a Christian school there. He was expelled by the locals but went on to Sweden, where he is reputed to have built the first Christian church. In 832 he was consecrated Bishop of Hamburg and sixteen years later became Archbishop of Bremen. He returned to Denmark to convert the King of Jutland. He preached widely throughout Scandinavia and was much-loved for his work with the poor and in mitigating the slave trade. He is the patron saint of Denmark. He died in the year 865. 
Lord, open our lips,
and our mouth shall proclaim your praise.

See, I am going to bring them
from the land of the north,
and gather them
from the farthest parts of the earth,
says the Lord.
Let us worship God. 		

Blessed are you, God our deliverer,
you walk with the meek and the poor,
the compassionate and those who mourn,
and you call us to walk humbly with you.
When we are foolish, you are our wisdom;
when we are weak, you are our strength;
that, as we learn to do justice
and to love mercy,
your rule may come as blessing.
For these and all your mercies, we praise you,
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit: 
Blessed be God forever!

An opening canticle may be sung. 

Psalm 18

I love you, O Lord my strength,*
 O Lord my stronghold,
 my crag and my haven. 
My God, my rock in whom I put my trust,*
 my shield, 
 the horn of my salvation and my refuge;
 you are worthy of praise. 
I will call upon the Lord,*
 and so shall I be saved from my enemies. 
The breakers of death rolled over me,*
 and the torrents of oblivion made me afraid. 
The cords of hell entangled me,*
 and the snares of death were set for me. 
I called upon the Lord in my distress*
 and cried out to my God for help. 
He heard my voice
from his heavenly dwelling;*
 my cry of anguish came to his ears. 
The earth reeled and rocked;*
 the roots of the mountains shook;
 they reeled because of his anger. 
Smoke rose from his nostrils
and a consuming fire out of his mouth;*
 hot burning coals blazed forth from him. 
He parted the heavens and came down*
 with a storm cloud under his feet. 
He mounted on cherubim and flew;*
 he swooped on the wings of the wind. 
He wrapped darkness about him;*
 he made dark waters
 and thick clouds his pavilion. 
>From the brightness of his presence,
through the clouds,*
 burst hailstones and coals of fire. 
The Lord thundered out of heaven;*
 the Most High uttered his voice. 
He loosed his arrows and scattered them;*
 he hurled thunderbolts and routed them. 
The beds of the seas were uncovered,
and the foundations of the world laid bare,*
 at your battle cry, O Lord,
 at the blast of the breath of your nostrils. 
He reached down from on high
and grasped me;*
 he drew me out of great waters. 
He delivered me from my strong enemies
and from those who hated me;*
 for they were too mighty for me. 
They confronted me
in the day of my disaster;*
 but the Lord was my support. 
He brought me out into an open place;*
 he rescued me because he delighted in me. 
The Lord rewarded me
because of my righteous dealing;*
 because my hands were clean
 he rewarded me; 
For I have kept the ways of the Lord*
 and have not offended against my God; 
For all his judgements are before my eyes,*
 and his decrees
 I have not put away from me; 
For I have been blameless with him*
 and have kept myself from iniquity; 
Therefore the Lord rewarded me
according to my righteous dealing,*
 because of the cleanness
 of my hands in his sight. 
With the faithful
you show yourself faithful, O God;*
 with the forthright
 you show yourself forthright. 
With the pure you show yourself pure,*
 but with the crooked you are wily. 
You will save a lowly people,*
 but you will humble the haughty eyes. 
You, O Lord, are my lamp;*
 my God, you make my darkness bright. 
With you I will break down an enclosure;*
 with the help of my God
 I will scale any wall. 
As for God, his ways are perfect;
the words of the Lord are tried in the fire;*
 he is a shield to all who trust in him. 
For who is God, but the Lord?*
 who is the rock, except our God? 
It is God who girds me about with strength*
 and makes my way secure. 
He makes me sure-footed like a deer*
 and lets me stand firm on the heights. 
He trains my hands for battle*
 and my arms for bending
 even a bow of bronze. 
You have given me your shield of victory;*
 your right hand also sustains me;
 your loving care makes me great. 
You lengthen my stride beneath me,*
 and my ankles do not give way. 
I pursue my enemies and overtake them;*
 I will not turn back
 till I have destroyed them. 
I strike them down and they cannot rise;*
 they fall defeated at my feet. 
You have girded me
with strength for the battle;*
 you have cast down
 my adversaries beneath me;
 you have put my enemies to flight. 
I destroy those who hate me;
they cry out, but there is none to help them;*
 they cry to the Lord,
 but he does not answer. 
I beat them small like dust before the wind;*
 I trample them like mud in the streets. 
You deliver me
from the strife of the peoples;*
 you put me at the head of the nations. 
A people I have not known shall serve me;
no sooner shall they hear
than they shall obey me;*
 strangers will cringe before me. 
The foreign peoples will lose heart;*
 they shall come trembling
 out of their strongholds. 
The Lord lives! Blessed is my rock!*
 Exalted is the God of my salvation! 
He is the God who gave me victory*
 and cast down the peoples beneath me. 
You rescued me
from the fury of my enemies;
you exalted me
above those who rose against me;*
 you saved me from my deadly foe; 
Therefore will I extol you
among the nations, O Lord,*
 and sing praises to your name. 
He multiplies the victories of his king;*
 he shows loving-kindness to his anointed,
 to David and his descendants for ever. 
FIRST READING [Genesis 15:1-6]:

The word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision, 'Do not be afraid, Abram, I am your shield; your reward shall be very great.' But Abram said, 'O Lord God, what will you give me, for I continue childless, and the heir of my house is Eliezer of Damascus?' And Abram said, 'You have given me no offspring, and so a slave born in my house is to be my heir.' But the word of the Lord came to him, 'This man shall not be your heir; no one but your very own issue shall be your heir.' He brought him outside and said, 'Look towards heaven and count the stars, if you are able to count them.' Then he said to him, 'So shall your descendants be.' And he believed the Lord; and the Lord reckoned it to him as righteousness. 

Words: Kirden den er et gammelt hus by N. F. S. Grundtvig (1783-1872) translated by Alan Gaunt (born 1935) from a literal translation by Enid Luff. English translation © 1998 Stainer & Bell Ltd. Used with permission.
Meter: 88 88 88

Ancient and sure, the Church will stand
Even though towers are falling;
Towers come crashing to the ground,
Bells go on pealing and calling:
Hear, young and old in your distress,
Hear, souls weighed down with weariness,
Yearning for rest and salvation.

Houses we build do not contain
God in his holy perfection;
Earth's holiest place will not retain
More than its palest reflection.
And yet God builds a dwelling place,
Wondrously raised by heaven's grace
Out of this earth's dust and ashes.

We are God's house and church today,
Living stones, chosen, well-founded;
Under the cross, baptised, we stay
Built up in faith, firmly grounded.
Were we, on earth, no more than two,
God would still build, and still renew
His life and dwelling place in us.

Meeting our king here face to face,
Finding, with Peter, 'God with us,'
We would not change the humblest place,
Not for the world and its treasures.
God keeps his word and, ever near
Within our hearts, is speaking here,
Present as Lord of creation.

Houses called churches, built on earth,
Honour our Lord, who embraces
Children like us who, from our birth,
Love to come home to these places.
Here such delightful things are heard,
He seals his covenant with his word,
Gives us the Kingdom of Heaven.

Here, at the font, our lives were claimed,
Here at his table he feeds us,
Here we have heard his word proclaimed,
Here his love's mystery leads us.
Present today as yesterday,
God's Son reminds us he will stay
Ever our Christ and Redeemer.

God grant, wherever through the year,
Summoned by bells, we are praying,
That, in their pealing, people hear
This word that Jesus is saying:
'The world does not see me, but you,
You see that all I say comes true:
My peace is with you for ever.' 

SECOND READING [Hebrews 12:18-24]:

You have not come to something that can be touched, a blazing fire, and darkness, and gloom, and a tempest, and the sound of a trumpet, and a voice whose words made the hearers beg that not another word be spoken to them. (For they could not endure the order that was given, ‘If even an animal touches the mountain, it shall be stoned to death.’ Indeed, so terrifying was the sight that Moses said, ‘I tremble with fear.’) But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to innumerable angels in festal gathering, and to the assembly of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven, and to God the judge of all, and to the spirits of the righteous made perfect, and to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel. 

The Benedictus (Morning), 
the Magnificat (Evening), or Nunc dimittis (Night) may follow.

Brothers and sisters, the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.  Let us appeal to the Lord saying: “You are gracious and full of compassion, O Lord; hear our prayer.”

O Lord, you have made the Church a family through the waters of baptism: may we not sin against each other but instead build each other up in love. You are gracious and full of compassion, O Lord; hear our prayer.

O Lord, the works of your hands are faithfulness and justice: may the nations of the world be ruled by truth and equity.  Give us a vision for peace. You are gracious and full of compassion, O Lord; hear our prayer.

O Lord, all things are from you and exist for you: Give us ears to heed the words spoken on behalf of our planet; and give us the will to be faithful stewards. You are gracious and full of compassion, O Lord; hear our prayer..

O Lord, you sent your son to set us from the unclean spirits that harass your people: set us free from the violence in our land—especially gun violence.  In your compassion, cast out hatred and anger. You are gracious and full of compassion, O Lord; hear our prayer.

O Lord, you know those who love you: Show all the sick and suffering your marvelous works.  Fill their hearts with Hallelujah songs. You are gracious and full of compassion, O Lord; hear our prayer.

O Lord, you have redeemed you people: Remember your covenant and care for your children forever—even beyond death and the grave. You are gracious and full of compassion, O Lord; hear our prayer.

Guard us, O Lord, with the shield of faith
and fight for us with the sword of the Spirit, 
that in all our spiritual warfare
against the powers of darkness
we may gain the victory
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Almighty God,
you sent forth your servant Anskar
and became his stronghold against despair
when prejudice was deaf to his preaching
and violence overthrew his labours.
Sustain your Church in days of discouragement,
that we may ever trust you to preserve
and bring to perfect fruition
what your own right hand has planted;
through Jesus Christ our Lord,
who lives and reigns
with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Gathering our prayers and praises into one,
let us pray as our Savior has taught us.

- The Lord's Prayer

Give us the spirit of wisdom and understanding,
the spirit of counsel and might, 
the spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord, 
the spirit of joy in your presence, 
both now and forever. Amen.

The psalms are from _Celebrating Common Prayer_ (Mowbray), (c) The Society of Saint Francis 1992, which is used with permission. The biblical passage is from The New Revised Standard Version (Anglicized Edition), copyright (c) 1989, 1995 by the Division of Christian Education of  the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA. Used by permission. All rights reserved. The opening sentence is Jeremiah 31:8. The biography is from Exciting Holiness © European Province of the Society of Saint Francis, 1997. The opening prayer of thanksgiving is reprinted from _Revised Common Lectionary Prayers_, copyright (c) 2002 Consultation on Common Texts. The intercession is by Jeremiah Williamson http://jeremiahwilliamson.blogspot.com. The second collect is from For All the Saints, Anglican Church of Canada. The closing sentence is based on Isaiah 11.

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